Florida’s governor has issued a deadly warning that may be hard for some to fathom. Governor Rick Scott said that the storm surge Hurricane Irma brings with it “will cover your house.” Scott warned that this hurricane’s storm surge will take lives if people are in its path. “It flows in fast, very fast. You will not survive all this storm surge.” This is one of the biggest worries for anyone who stayed behind in an area that is under a mandatory evacuation, according to ABC News.
The storm surge is not expected to just impact the shoreline. According to Fox & Friends Weekend on Sunday morning, in some places, the surge of water from this hurricane is expected to reach miles inland. It is the hurricane’s storm surge that kills, conveyed Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, who spoke via phone with Fox & Friends Sunday morning hosts.
So what is a storm surge? Many people envision Irma’s surge as a wall of water, much like you would see in a tsunami, but that is not the case. As ABC News puts very simply, “the winds push the ocean water into the shore.” This causes the water to pile up even in areas that don’t typically flood.
In Hurricane Irma’s case, because of the strength of her winds and the speed she is traveling, this is expected to happen very quickly. Carlos Gimenez, who is the mayor of Miami-Dade County, said it is the concerns over the storm surge that has prompted the evacuation areas, not the wind and rain.
Irma has done some bizarre things already, like pulling all the ocean water out to sea for about a half a day in the Bahamas, reports Fox & Friends Weekend on Sunday morning. The winds from Irma are so strong, that is was able to keep that water off shore for hours. Much like you would see with a tsunami, the ocean floor was exposed for as far as the eye can see, which is seen in a video below.
The head of the National Hurricane Centers Storm Surge Department, Jamie Rome, said that Irma’s storm surge “is going to sneak up on people.” One minute there won’t be water and the next minute there’s water. As Governor Rick Scott said, Irma’s storm surge will cover houses.
The storm surge is expected to be up to 15 feet and if you couple this with the 25 inches of rain expected in the Florida Keys, that is a tremendous amount of water.
NOAA explains just how the storm surge works and how water gets pushed around from one area to the other on their website.
[Featured Image by Knyazev Vasily/Shutterstock]